'System is obviously broken': Woman, 37, dies in emergency room after waiting SEVEN hours to receive care

'System is obviously broken': Woman, 37, dies in emergency room after waiting SEVEN hours to receive care
Allison Holthoff died after waiting for almost seven hours to receive emergency care at a hospital on New's Year Eve (Ali Holthoff/Facebook)

NOVA SCOTIA, CANADA: A Canadian woman has died after waiting for almost seven hours to receive emergency care at a hospital on New's Year Eve. Allison Holthoff, a 37-year-old from Nova Scotia, was rushed to the emergency room at the Cumberland Regional Health Care Centre on the morning of December 31, after she began feeling sick due to an upset stomach

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Her husband, Gunter Holthoff, told CBC News that he had to carry her on his back on their way to the hospital where the couple arrived at 11 am and spent hours in the waiting room. "She was obviously in pain," he recalled the ordeal on Sunday, January 8. "I was rolling her in the wheelchair and she could hardly sit up." Gunter revealed that the two waited more than six hours in the emergency department’s waiting room where his wife’s condition worsened. "I told the nurses and the lady at the desk there a couple of times, 'It is getting worse,' and nothing happened," he said. "So the security guards, in time, they brought a couple blankets out and they brought us a cup of water and I used it to put some ice on her lips."

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While the pair continued to wait, Allison told her husband that she felt like she was dying. "I think that she actually started saying that she thought she was dying in the waiting room outside. But she kept saying it more and more. She said, 'I think I'm dying. Don't let me die here.' And I said, 'No, that's why I've got you in the hospital.'" 

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(Ali Thompson/Facebook)
Allison Holthoff, a 37-year-old from Nova Scotia, was rushed to the emergency room at the Cumberland Regional Health Care Centre on the morning of December 31, after she began feeling sick due to an upset stomach. (Ali Holthoff/Facebook)

After nearly a seven-hour wait at 6 pm in the evening, Allison finally saw a doctor and received pain medication. However, the doctor had declared that it was already too late. While undergoing an X-ray examination, Gunter recalled that his wife was unable to breathe. Her condition kept deteriorating as she fell on the bathroom floor, not being able to stand on her own during a urine test. "The next thing is [her] eyes rolled back in her head and her chest started rising. Something started beeping," he told the outlet. "The next thing you hear is over the PA, 'code blue, code blue in X-ray.'" 

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(Ali Thomspson/Facebook)
Her husband, Gunter Holthoff, told CBC News that he had to carry her on his back on their way to the hospital where the couple arrived at 11 am and spent hours in the waiting room. (Ali Holthoff/Facebook)

Gunter was immediately asked to leave the room and sent into the hallway while medical staff attempted to resuscitate Allison three times, to no avail. "Even if she would have survived at that point ... she had too long a time without sufficient blood flow to the brain and vital organs. It would have been not a life worth living," he said. Gunter added that he is still waiting for the results of Allison’s autopsy, admitting that he feels like he was left in the dark. He went on to say that he believes that the healthcare system “is broken” and there needs to be a change. "We need change, the system is obviously broken. Or if it's not broken yet, it's not too far off," he said. "Something needs to improve. I don't want anybody else to go through this."

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"Unfortunately, I feel like we were neglected until it was to a point they couldn't ignore us anymore," Gunter told Global News. "At that point, it was just too late."

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